How can I remove obsolete items from the tray on a Windows Vista Basic 32-bit operating system? I would like to completely delete the entries, not just the icon.
They can be disabled through MSCONFIG's Startup tab. Just click on the application menu, type "msconfig" in the search bar, open it, go to "Startup" and uncheck anything that's not used or you don't need to be opened right at startup.
EDIT: If you would like to also speed up your boot time at the same time, you might want to take a look at this previous question that also concerned cleaning the startup (and system tray).
Windows System Tray Cleanup Tool
You can either terminate the program, remove the program from your startup or simply uninstall the tray application